On January 11, 1973
— At the owners’ meeting in Chicago, Houston owner Judge Roy Hofheinz votes along with the rest of the National League to allow the American League to conduct a three-year experiment using the Designated Hitter. The ruling will pass 8-4 among AL Owners. A’s owner Charlie Finley votes against the concept because of the lack of support for his other brainchild of implementing a designated runner. It will be the first time since the A.L. was formed in 1901 that the two major leagues would have a different set of rules. The DH has survived ever since and is now used by National League teams when involved in interleague play.
Bowie Kuhn, in addition to introducing the designated hitter and pinch runner concepts, shares with the press his idea of interleague play as a means for the American League to bridge the gap with its more popular NL rivals. The commissioner’s limited plan, if accepted, would only affect cities with multiple teams within one geographic area.
New York Yankee Ron Blomberg will debut on April 6, 1973 and have the first official plate appearance as a DH at Fenway Park.